The California Capitol / Image via Shutterstock

It’s the final sprint to the finish: Gov. Gavin Newsom has until Sunday to sign or veto legislation passed this year.

He’s signed dozens of measures this week as the deadline approaches, including major legislation addressing the housing crisis, the #MeToo movement and gun control.

I’ve pulled out a few of the most noteworthy signings (and one surprising veto) from the week:

AB 51 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez prohibits employers from requiring a binding arbitration agreement as a condition of employment. The #MeToo movement has made clear that such deals have been a factor in virtually every case in which a high-profiler employer was able to effectively silence victims. Gov. Jerry Brown had earlier vetoed a similar bill written by Gonzalez.

AB 893 by Assemblyman Todd Gloria prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunitions at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Earlier efforts to ban gun shows on state property had been vetoed by other governors, including Brown. But we’d gotten hints this year that Newsom was open to signing this measure.

“We are opposed to discrimination against a group of law-abiding citizens who are simply practicing their civil rights,” Michael A. Schwartz, executive director of the San Diego County Gun Owners PAC, said in a statement Friday.

The cities of Del Mar, Solana Beach and Encinitas all supported the bill.

AB 1730 by Gonzalez allows SANDAG an extra two years to submit its regional transportation plan, a document required by law that lays out how the agency plans to meet its transportation and climate goals. As Andrew Keatts explained earlier this year, “AB 805, an earlier bill passed by Gonzalez, restructured the agency, giving larger cities in the region far more power. Between that shakeup and the agency hiring a new executive director following massive scandal, the bill is needed to give the agency time to adjust to the changes and to produce a plan that reflects the new leadership’s vision, according to an analysis of the bill.”

SB 656 by Sen. Ben Hueso tasks Caltrans with creating an advisory committee to assist with the selection of a permanent suicide deterrent system for the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.

A Surprising Veto

Earlier in the year, we highlighted AB 372 by Assemblyman Randy Voepel as one of the bills we were keeping a close eye on. The bill would have created a pilot program allowing state employees to bring their infants to work. In a surprise move, Newsom vetoed the measure this week. In his veto message, Newsom didn’t object to the idea but suggested such a program should be handled “administratively or through collective bargaining.”

We’re Still Waiting …

Two bills that haven’t gotten a decision yet include AB 218, Gonzalez’s measure to extend the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse victims. Gonzalez wrote a tweetstorm this week emphasizing the importance of the bill and urging the governor to sign it.

AB 197 by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber would require kindergartens to offer full-day programs.

Another Bill of Interest to San Diego

AB 61 isn’t specific to San Diego or even written by a San Diego lawmaker, but it nonetheless could have an outsize impact here.

The bill, written by Assemblyman Phil Ting, expands access to gun violence restraining orders, which are court orders allowing the temporary repossession of a person’s firearms if they’re deemed an immediate threat to themselves or others. Under the new law, coworkers, educators and employers can seek the orders.

San Diego has utilized the law far more aggressively than any other city in the state. The state budget recognized that fact by doling out money for City Attorney Mara Elliott to conduct trainings across California for law enforcement officials looking to use the law.

More From the Week’s Billsplosion

The governor also signed and vetoed these measures from San Diego lawmakers.


AB 391 by Assemblyman Randy Voepel reduces the period of time following the expiration of an auto-rental agreement or lease for the presumption of embezzlement to apply, from five days to 72 hours.

AB 415 by Assemblyman Brian Maienschein authorizes the California Victim Compensation Board to compensate a crime victim for the costs of temporary housing for a pet and for any pet deposit that may be required for relocation.

AB 547 by Gonzalez allows janitorial workers to serve as peer educators to provide direct training on sexual harassment prevention in the workplace to other janitors at worksites throughout the industry.

AB 1150 by Gloria requires that a candidate for the San Diego Community College District or the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District comply with the same rules that exist for municipal elections. It would also prohibit a candidate from filing nomination papers for more than one governing board position for the same governing board in the same election.

AB 1296 by Gonzalez expands the membership, duties and authority of the Joint Enforcement Strike Force on the Underground Economy.

AB 1831 by Gonzalez appropriates $802.60 to the Department of General Services for the payment of five government claims – it allows the department to re-issue expired checks.

SB 399 by Sen. Toni Atkins requires the appointment of two members of the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training who are not peace officers and have expertise in implicit and explicit biases, cultural competency, mental health and policing or work with vulnerable populations.

SB 338 by Hueso requires a local law enforcement agency that adopts or amends its policy regarding senior and disability victimization after April 13, 2021, to include information and training on elder and dependent adult abuse.

SB 367 by Hueso clarifies the type of educational programs that may be undertaken or funded by the State Coastal Conservancy, and extends access to those programs to adults.

SB 451 by Atkins provides for a 20 percent to 25 percent tax credit toward rehabilitation expenses if a historic structure or qualified residence meets a specific set of criteria and contains transparency measures, including annual cap and reporting requirements.

SB 717 by Sen. Brian Jones authorizes a craft distiller to purchase advertising space from, or on behalf of, an on-sale retail licensee subject to the same conditions as other alcohol manufacturers.


AB 773 by Gonzalez would have required school districts to coordinate with county elections officials to develop a course on voter registration. Newsom said he objected to a “prescriptive … one-size-fits-all requirement.”

SB 577 by Hueso codified administrative processes between the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration and the State Board of Equalization. A veto message can be found here.

San Diego Leaders Stress Importance of New Law to Expand Conservatorships

Two San Diego County supervisors say the board will soon review whether to pursue a pilot program established by state law to expand court-ordered conservatorships in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco counties.

San Francisco Sen. Scott Wiener’s SB 40, signed by Newsom last week, bolsters previous legislation allowing the three counties to create five-year pilot programs where court-appointed guardians oversee a person’s daily life without a previous requirement that patients try an outpatient program first. Gonzalez last year added San Diego to the original bill, SB 1045, when it came before the Appropriations Committee she chairs.

Wiener hopes the expanded conservatorships will connect more people in need with longer-term housing and care.

The new law requires counties to first seek 28-day conservatorships that link patients with housing and care and then six-month-long conservatorships. Patients are considered eligible after an eighth involuntary hospital stay for psychiatric care in a 12-month period. These holds follow a determination that the person is a danger to themselves or others.

Wiener has said the goal of the legislation is to provide housing and services to “people who cannot be reached effectively with voluntary services.”

Gloria, who is running for mayor, and Mayor Kevin Faulconer separately urged San Diego County leaders to enact the program.

“There’s nothing humane about leaving severely mentally ill San Diegans unsheltered,” Gloria wrote on Twitter. “It’s time [San Diego County] acts to get these people off the streets and into care.”

Faulconer shared a letter he and Elliott had sent county board Chairwoman Dianne Jacob that emphasized troubling numbers he said underscored the need for the program.

“At a San Diego County board conference on October 30, 2018, county staff presented that nearly 70 percent of psychiatric hospitalizations involving patients with a recurring substance use disorder, and that since 2012, emergency department visits for amphetamine and opioids more than doubled,” the letter says.

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and Jacob responded with a statement that said the board will move quickly to consider how to implement the program.

Lisa Halverstadt

Golden State News

  • The San Francisco Chronicle has done fantastic coverage of the PG&E shutoffs all week – you can find all those stories here.
  • In a video op-ed, former UCLA gymnastics star Katelyn Ohashi objects to criticism of the new state law that allows college athletes to make money off their image and likeness. (New York Times)
  • San Diego is still wrestling with its inclusionary housing rules, but the Supreme Court might weigh a Marin case that tests the constitutionality of such rules. (CityLab)
  • GOP activists have been trying to encourage people to show up to Democratic representatives’ town halls to voice their displeasure with the impeachment inquiry. Voters’ response: nah. (Sacramento Bee)

Sara Libby

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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